, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 9 – Police were forced to shoot in the air and lob teargas at demonstrators who blocked the Thika Superhighway on Tuesday morning in Githurai as they protested the prosecution of a police officer over murder.
The protesters rendered the highway impassable causing a traffic snarl-up stretching several kilometres on both sides.
The residents were demanding the release of Constable Titus Musila who was arrested and charged with murder last week.
The protesters claim the officer – whom they hail as being instrumental in containing crime in Kasarani – is innocent.
The officer was charged following recommendation by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority.
The policeman was last Friday charged over the death of a suspect last year.
Musila is accused of killing Kenneth Kimani Mwangi in Githurai, Nairobi on April 14, 2013.
IPOA which investigated the death, opened inquiries after a key suspect in the trial, Oscar Muchoki Mwangi, was also shot dead on August 24 this year.
The civilian oversight body intended to interrogate the officer over the second shooting.
The victims were brothers, and the second one was also killed in Githurai, just three days after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko ordered the arrest and prosecution of the officer.
The murder case is due for mention on September 16.
Other witnesses in the pending case have been placed under the government-sponsored Witness Protection Programme.
The case threatened to strain relations between the DPP, IPOA and the police because the officer had remained at large two weeks after his arrest was ordered.
The DPP reacted by seeking an arrest warrant, which was issued on September 1 and effected three days later.
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